PLATTSBURGH — Lucenda Self Storage plans to start work on four additional self-storage buildings within a few days.
The buildings will bring an additional 66 10-by-20-foot storage units to the former Bouyea Bakery property, located at 290 Margaret St.
Mark Allen of Lee Custom Homes II, and his wife, Lori, are managing Lucenda Self Storage for owners Pierre Tremblay and Richard Bergeron, of Montreal.
He said they hope to have concrete slabs in place by Nov. 1 and open the new building by mid December. That would be in time for snowbirds to store belongings before they head south for the winter.
Two of the new buildings will be attached to the present building. The other two will be located on the north side of the property and connected with a sign between them.
There will be 26 feet of space between the new buildings, to allow people to drive around parked vehicles.
The units will be well lighted for security purposes. Snow will be trucked off site.
The buildings will feature pitched roofs. The property will be landscaped once the structures are done.
The new units are expected to rent for about $120 a month, Allen said.
The climate-controlled facility opened in 2009. Allen said the business is doing well.
The 125 units in the upper level are all occupied, and the 76 units in the basement are 75-percent full, he said.
There is also a high demand for the large space dedicated to car, boat and RV storage. Allen said they can fit up to 45 vehicles in there.
Because that space is climate controlled, people don't have to winterize their vehicle before it is stored for the winter.
The new units will not be climate controlled, Allen said. They went with all 10-by-20-foot units because those have been the most popular.
With 8-foot-tall doors that are easy to roll up, they are spacious enough to store cars and small boats.
"We have more demand for car and boat storage than we have room for," he said.
The business has been very popular with college students, who receive a special rate. Word about the facility spread rapidly through word of mouth.
"We were bombarded with college kids," Allen said.
Allen said the business has been well received by the neighbors. They were pleased to see the former bakery property put back in use and spruced up.
There are presently three employees working there for both Lucenda and Lee Custom Homes II. Allen said the expansion could lead to two additional jobs.
Allen said they received variances and a special-use permit from the City of Plattsburgh Zoning Board of Appeals that allow for an inadequate number of parking spaces, multiple principal structures on one property and excess square footage.
"They really worked well with us," Allen said of the Zoning Board.
He said the City Planning Board process also went smoothly.
Allen said unlike the hectic pace of their home-building business, managing the self-storage facility is a joy.
"It's just a fun business," he said.
They have even been hired to build houses for two of the storage customers.
City of Plattsburgh Mayor Donald Kasprzak said he was pleased Lucenda was expanding and supported the initial conversion of the former Bouyea Bakery building in 2009.
"During these difficult times, businesses that expand and create jobs are very welcome in the city," he said.
The mayor used to work at the bakery and is pleased with the property's new look.
"This business has transitioned the property very positively," he said.
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